Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891), first prime minister of Canada, on providing food relief for the starving Indigenous people of Saskatchewan, who had been dispossessed of their lands, 1882:

"We cannot allow them to die for want of food. … [W]e are doing all we can, by refusing food until the Indians are on the verge of starvation, to reduce the expense” 

Source: Page 123, Clearing the Plains: Disease, politics of starvation, and loss of Aboriginal life, by James W. Daschuk (2013)

Winston Churchill about the Palestinians, in 1937:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”

Source: Page 9, Samar Attar (2010) Debunking the Myths of Colonization: The Arabs and Europe, University Press of America. Page 156, Makovsky Michael (2007) Churchill’s Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft, Yale University Press.

Jacques Parizeau (1930- ), former Premier of Quebec, on the Mohawk nation in the event of Quebec leaving Confederation - October 30, 2005, CBC Television:

"The difficult group is the Mohawks. They can be the social ingredient of trouble. We know that they can block bridges in Montreal. We’ve seen all that before. If we had won the referendum, one of the first questions would have been: What do you do with these people? They’re not all the same, mind you. The Abenakis are much quieter, but the Mohawks are really often a pain in the neck”.


Journalist Barbara Kay, on Gary McHale, an anti-Indigenous activist, whom she calls a “true Canadian Hero”, 2013: 

"In a new book, activist Gary McHale addresses the disastrous results of …violent native occupations. In doing so, he draws on fascinating anecdotal material from his own extraordinary experience.

In 2006, a group of Six Nations “warriors” illegally occupied a housing development in Caledonia, Ont. The Provincial Police, following directives from above, ignored court orders to remove them, and there Caledonia residents’ troubles began. Galvanized, McHale devoted his life to standing up for the Charter rights of Caledonian victims of Native abuses.

The saga was exposed in all its ugliness by Christie Blatchford in her 2010 book, Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. The emboldened occupiers were joined by armed Mohawks, drug smugglers from across North America and activists from a panoply of leftist organizations (union and pro-Palestinian flags festooned hydro poles, while non-Native townspeople displaying Canadian flags were arrested “to prevent a breach of the peace”).

Native scofflaws dug up roads, cut down hydro towers, set fires, threw rocks off overpasses (1,500 incidents over a five-year period), issued death threats, swarmed terrified residents, assaulted police officers and firebombed a power station. With near-complete impunity.”


A conversation that took place between Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950) and some Newfoundland diplomats:

"During [Mackenzie King]’s final months as prime minister in 1948, when he was negotiating the terms of Newfoundland’s entry into Confederation, he is said to have asked, "What about the Beothuk you have in Newfoundland?" A Newfoundland delegate replied, "We don’t have any, sir. We shot them all." Laughter filled the room. King said, "I suppose that’s one way of dealing with a problem of that kind."

Source: Page 156, Conversations with a Dead Man, by Mark Abley (2013)

Duncan Campbell Scott (1862-1947), Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to a committee of the House of Commons, on Indian Act reform, 1920:

"I want to get rid of the Indian problem… That is my whole point. Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department, and that is the whole object of this Bill” 

Lewis Brooks Patterson (1939- ), currently County Executive of Oakland County, Michigan, was quoted in The New Yorker magazine (27th January, 2014):

"I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.’”

Sources: and

Jonathan Kay (1968- ), National Post, 2007:

"My fix for Canada is to make life better for natives by treating them like real human beings… The most decrepit and remote reserves, such as Kashechewan and Natuashish, would simply be torn down — their inhabitants installed at government expense in population centres of the residents’ choice. The hundreds of millions of dollars that go into running these hellholes would be used to teach job skills, detox the drunks, educate the children and otherwise integrate the families into mainstream Canadian life…Natives would stay if they chose — but only if they could find the employment necessary to feed themselves: Aside from treaty-mandated entitlements and regular government social programs, they would be cut off from the dole…The conceit that native reserves can be reconceived as culturally distinct “nations” would be given up in favour of a model that promotes integration…This is a radical fix I am proposing, and I have no illusions about how wrenching the experience of cultural dislocation would be for the affected communities.

That said, it is a trauma that need only be inflicted once — as opposed to the status quo, under which every generation of reserve-resident natives suffers under our dysfunctional system afresh. Which, I ask, is the more inhumane?”


The Canadian Department of the Interior, 1876 annual report

“Our Indian legislation generally rests on the principle, that the aborigines are to be kept in a condition of tutelage and treated as wards or children of the State. …the true interests of the aborigines and of the State alike require that every effort should be made to aid the Red man in lifting himself out of his condition of tutelage and dependence, and that is clearly our wisdom and our duty, through education and every other means, to prepare him for a higher civilization by encouraging him to assume the privileges and responsibilities of full citizenship.”

Source: Page xiv, Department of the Interior, Annual Report for the year ended 30th June, 1876 (Parliament, Sessional Papers, n°11, 1877).

Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882), Methodist minister, educator, and namesake of Ryerson University in Toronto (known for his ostensible “progressive stand in advocating for the separation of Church and State within education”), 1847:

"It is a fact established by numerous experiments, that the North American Indian cannot be civilized or preserved in a state of civilization (including habits of industry and sobriety) except in connection with, if not by the influence of, not only religious instruction and sentiment but of religious feelings


The poet Archibald Lampman (1861-1899), in his poem “At the Long Sault: May, 1660” describes the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) fighters who took on Adam Dollard des Ormeaux (known also as Daulac) and his expedition near Carillon, Quebec in 1660. Daulac and his 16 men camped in a broken-down old fort and fought the Haudenosaunee for several days. Lampman includes the comparison of the Haudenosaunee to bloodthirsty wolves:

"…a ruined fort with a name that men forget,—
A shelterless pen 
With its broken palisade, 
Behind it, musket in hand, 
Beyond message or aid 
In this savage heart of the wild, 
Mere youngsters, grown in a moment to men, 
Grim and alert and arrayed, 
The comrades of Daulac stand. 
Ever before them, night and day, 
The rush and skulk and cry 
Of foes, not men but devils, panting for prey…

Day and night they have watched while the little plain 
Grew dark with the rush of the foe, but their host 
Broke ever and melted away, with no boast 
But to number their slain; 
And now as the days renew 
Hunger and thirst and care 
Were they never so stout, so true, 
Press at their hearts; but none 
Falters or shrinks or utters a coward word, 
Though each setting sun 
Brings from the pitiless wild new hands to the Iroquois horde, 
And only to them despair.

Silent, white-faced, again and again 
Charged and hemmed round by furious hands, 
Each for a moment faces them all and stands 
In his little desperate ring; like a tired bull moose 
Whom scores of sleepless wolves, a ravening pack, 
Have chased all night, all day 
Through the snow-laden woods, like famine let loose; 
And he turns at last in his track 
Against a wall of rock and stands at bay; 
Round him with terrible sinews and teeth of steel 
They charge and recharge; but with many a furious plunge and wheel, 
Hither and thither over the trampled snow, 
He tosses them bleeding and torn; 
Till, driven, and ever to and fro 
Harried, wounded, and weary grown, 
His mighty strength gives way 
And all together they fasten upon him and drag him down…

…And then the great night came
With the triumph-songs of the foe and the flame
Of the camp-fires.
Out of the dark the soft wind woke,
The song of the rapid rose alway
And came to the spot where the comrades lay,
Beyond help or care,
With none but the red men round them
To gnash their teeth and stare.”

Source: Excerpts from Page 84-85, Poets of the Confederation, edited by Malcolm Ross (1867)

They are generally intemperate, and although painful experience has taught them the folly of their conduct, which they have frequently acknowledged to me, they cannot resist the temptation, and will part with everything for ardent spirits, when once they taste them…

They have no idea of regularity or system, and in all, obey the impulse of the moment; though apparently indolent, they are capable of the greatest exertion when aroused to them by want…

They are exceedingly superstitious, and conjurors possess over them an unlimited sway…

Those men, by tricks and juggling, similar to that of the heathen priests of former days, inspire their deluded votaries with unlimited confidence…

Educating the children, and placing them among already settled and civilized Indians, who pay regular attention to farming, would be the readiest mode of bringing the heathens to the right way…


Assistant Indian Superintendent J.W. Keating, describing the barriers to “civilizing” Indigenous people, 1844.

Source: Page 14, The Historical Development of the Indian Act, 1978.


In 1639, Father du Perron wrote in his exploration journal:

"The nature of the Savage is patient, liberal, hospitable; but importunate, visionary, childish, thieving, lying, deceitful, licentious, proud, lazy; they have among them many fools, or rather lunatics and insane people. … All their actions are dictated to them directly by the devil, who speaks to them, now in the form of a crow …, now in the form of a flame or ghost, and all this in dreams.”

Source: Page 48, A History of Canadian Litterature, by W.H. New, McGill-Queen’s Press (2003)